The Apple app store icon is displayed on a mobile phone. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Eighty-four percent of app developers back a bipartisan Senate bill that would block Apple and Google from favoring their own in-house apps, according to a consulting firm's new poll.
The consulting firm, ClearPath Strategies, conducted the online survey of 190 app developers on behalf of the Coalition for App Fairness, a nonprofit organization advocating for fair competition, which was released Monday.
The coalition is urging lawmakers to back the Open App Markets Act, related to companies app store operations, which would prohibit companies from doing the following three things:
- Requiring developers to use an in-app payment system owned or controlled by them for distribution or access.
- Requiring favorable pricing on their app stores.
- Taking punitive action against a developer for using different pricing through another app store.
The bill with bipartisan co-sponsorship, including Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., among others, is scheduled for committee markup this week.
Forty-one percent of app developers strongly supported this legislation in particular, another 43% somewhat supported it, and 13% opposed it, according to the poll.
Developers pointed out in the survey that Apple's 30% commission fee on app store sales makes it difficult for smaller companies or individual developers to compete.
Eighty-six percent of developers added that there was a need for legislation in general to prohibit anti-competitive or self-preference practices in app marketplaces, including 48% in strong support, 38% somewhat supportive, and 12% who disagreed.
"The evidence is clear -- app developers want the Open App Markets Act to pass so that they can have the opportunity to compete in a fair digital marketplace," Meghan DiMuzio, executive director of the Coalition for App Fairness, said in a statement. "For too long, developers have been harmed by gatekeepers' monopolistic practices, and consumers have suffered from less choice and innovation. We applaud Congress' leadership on this issue to date and continue to urge members of Congress to act quickly to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace."
Apple and Google CEOs have lobbied against such legislation affecting their stores, warning of hazards associated with verifying the security of apps downloaded from third-party stores.
"This bill is a finger in the eye of anyone who bought an iPhone or Android because the phones and their app stores are safe, reliable and easy to use," said Adam Kovacevich, chief executive officer of Chamber of Progress, a lobbying group, which was funded by Apple and Google, said in a statement last summer.
The ClearPath Strategies poll of 190 app developers was conducted from December through January across 11 states with a margin of error of 7.11 percentage points.